UNP defends 20th constitutional amendment

kabir-hashim-720x480The ruling United National Party (UNP) has strongly defended the scheme of electoral reforms approved by the Cabinet a few days ago as part of the 20th constitutional amendment.

Answering questions on the scheme, Kabir Hashim, UNP general secretary and Minister for Highways and Investment Promotion, told The Hindu that if the proportion of seats under the First Past The Post (FPTP) and proportional representation (PR) had to be changed in favour of FPTP, this would only reduce the opportunities for minorities to get accommodated under PR.

The purpose of keeping the proportion at 5:4 for FPTP and PR was to ensure that the minorities were given adequate representation. (Out of 225, 125 MPs will have to get elected under the FPTP and 100 under PR.)

Asked why his party was against increasing the size of Parliament from 225 to 255, the UNP leader said any hike would only mean a “drain on the resources of the country which we want to cut down”.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Urban Development Minister Rauf Hakeem said his party is for the introduction of “double ballot paper system” as part of the Amendment which will be “more democratic.” One ballot will be for parties and another for candidates.